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2020 Tokyo Olympics

Team Pilipinas to send home coach after ‘back-and-forth’ test results


TOKYO — A coach of Team Pilipinas will return home following back-and-forth false positive and negative tests for COVID-19.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Bambol Tolentino shared the development during a scrum at the Conrad Tokyo on Thursday.

The daily tests at the Athletes Village on coaches and players yielded a false positive test on the said coach, prompting his isolation and a confirmatory test, which turned out negative.

A third test the following day, however, yielded another false positive on the said coach, who is now running a fever.

“While waiting for another confirmatory test, I have ordered our chef de mission Mariano Araneta to separate him from our team.

“If the next result is negative, we are sending him home. If he tests positive again, he will be brought to a quarantine hospital,” said Tolentino.

Armed with two negative RT-PCR tests, the coach passed the rigid screening at the Narita airport. “The coach must have gotten it on the plane or at the airport, during the incubation period kaya hindi lumabas sa tests noong una,” said Tolentino.

“To further mitigate the risks to the Philippine team, we have decided to separate the coach from the delegation,” said POC Secretary-General Edwin Gastanes.

Tolentino, however, sees little impact this will bring to Team Pilipinas here.

“Maybe to the national sports association involved, apektado sila kasi nawalan sila ng coach. But to the rest of the Team Pilipinas, I don’t see their morale going down because of this,” said Tolentino.

“Everyone is in high spirits and raring to go to battle for the country.”

There is no news yet whether the people who have been in close contact with the coach will also have to isolate. However, they have yielded negative results for COVID-19 infection.

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